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Impact of fathers’ taking leaveonchildren’s lives in Nordic countries Berit Brandth NTNU, Trondheim
Ch. 3 Inventory of family policy research in the Nordic countriesonwhat is best for children
Parental leaveobjectives Genderequality! (primaryobjective) Father-childrelationship(secondaryobjective) Children’ best?? (implicitobjective?)
Methodological issues (O’Brian 2009) Whatcan be measured? Parental leave is a complex of many diverse arrangements Parental leave is part of a matrix of publicinvestments in children
Indirectmeasures Genderequality – genderequal families arebeneficial to children Violence – less violence in families wherefathers have taken parental leave(Ø.G.Holter) Divorce – less divorce in wherefathers have taken parental leave
Long term effectsonfatherinvolvement Fatherswhotakethefather’squota spend more time withchildren (afterthequota) thanfatherswhodidn’ttake it (Solli & Rege 2010) The longer the leave, the fewer hours they work when the child is older compared with fathers who only go on a short leave (Duvander & Jans 2009) Fathers who took more days were more likely to take solo responsibility for children when mothers worked, spend more time with children on a workday and be engaged in specific childcare tasks (Haas & Hwang 2008)
Long term cognitiveeffects • Childrenwithfathers taking thefather’squotahadbetterschoolresults 16 years later • The effect of father’seducation has increasedafterthefather’squota • The father’squota has improvedchildren’schances in life Cools, Fiva & Kirkebøen (2011)
Child well-being today and tomorrow • Tomorrow: ’well-becoming’ - accumulation of human capital and social skills for tomorrow. Social investment • Today: well-being in thehere-and-now
Effectsonchildren’swellbeing in thehere-and-now • Little empiricalresearchonthecontent of parental leave - whatparents do on parental leave
Effects of fathersbeing ”homealone” • Childrensneedsdefinefathers’ practices • Fathersdevelopcarecompetence (Brandth and Kvande 2003)
With themother at home during thefather’sleave He becomes a supportingplayer He takescare of the older siblings (Brandth and Kvande 2003)
Conclusion It is time to call for more research on the impact of fathers taking leave on the lives of Nordic children What research is there from other countries?
References Brandth, B. and I. V. Gislason (2011): Family policies and the best interest of children. In Gislason, I.V. and G.B. Eydal (eds):Parental leave, childcare and genderequality in the Nordic Countries.TemaNord 2011:562. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers Brandth, B. and E. Kvande (2003): Fatherpresence in childcare. In Jensen, A.M. and L. McKee (eds.), Children and theChanging Family. London: Routledge Falmer Cools, S., J.H.Fiva and L.J. Kirkebøen (2011): Causaleffects of paternityleaveonchildren and parents. Discussion Papers No. 657, StatisticsNorwayhttp://www.ssb.no/publikasjoner/pdf/dp657.pdf Duvander, A-S. and A.C. Jans (2009): Hurlängespälar pappors föräldraledighet roll? En studie av sambandet mellan pappors föräldraledighetochderas kontakt medd sina barn. Socialförsäkringsrapport. Stockholm: Försäkringskassan Haas, L. and P. Hwang (2008): The impact of fathers taking parental leaveonfathers’ participation in childcare and ties withchildren: Lessons from Sweden. Community, Work and Family, 11:85-104 Holter, Øystein Gullvåg (2008): with: Svare, H. & Egeland, C.: Likestilling og livskvalitet 2007. AFI-rapport 2008:1. Oslo: Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet O’Brien, M. (2009): Fathers, Parental LeavePolicies and InfantQuality of Life: International Perspectives and Policy Impact. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 624:190-213 Solli, M. and I.F. Rege (2010): The impact of PaternityLeaveon Long-term FatherInvolvement. CESifoWorking Paper No.3130 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1649344